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SCUTTLEBUTT 3580 - Monday, April 30, 2012

Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.


Today's sponsors: Quantum Sail Design Group and APS.

(April 29, 2012) - With mild winds forecasted for the 125 nm Lexus Newport
to Ensenada Yacht Race, 213 entries started on Friday with expectations of
a relaxing reach down the coast toward the land of tequila and tacos. But
the party mood would soon turn somber when reports of another tragedy were

An investigation is underway involving the Hunter 376 Aegean, which appears
to have been in a collision during the race with a large ship several miles
off the coast near the border. The boat was destroyed, killing three of the
crew while the fourth crew member remains missing.

Two weeks ago, five crew died when huge waves pummeled James Bradford's
Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase, which was competing in the Full Crew Farallones
Race, sponsored by San Francisco Yacht Club.

The first indication of this latest incident was at 1:30 a.m. Saturday when
the boat's image vanished from the online race tracking system in place for
the race. A Coast Guard search was launched that led to discovery of the
boat's wreckage, including the rear transom with the boat's name on it.

Three bodies were discovered just before 10 a.m. Saturday amid the wreckage
and recovered, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.
All three victims were men; their names have not yet been released.

Saturday's extensive search involved a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter, a
45-foot response boat, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as the Coast
Guard cutter Sea Otter, a Mexican navy vessel and civilian boats, said
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Allyson Conroy.

The search continued through Sunday for the fourth crew member, covering
some 500-square miles, officials said. "Our Coast Guard members feel for
the family and friends of these sailors and we continue to keep them on our
thoughts and prayers," said Capt. Sean Mahoney, the service's San Diego
sector commander.

The owner and skipper was identified as Theo Mavromatis, 49, of Redondo
Beach (CA) who is also a member of the Little Ships Fleet Yacht Club in
Long Beach (CA). It is not known if he is one of the victims.

"An investigation was continuing, but it appeared the damage was not
inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than
the 37-foot vessel," said race spokesman Rich Roberts. The Coast Guard is
investigating the ships that transited the area at the time of the

Race reports:

New York will be start city for the new MOD70 class's first ever
trans-oceanic race. The class, a one-design 70 foot trimaran conceived in
2009 and designed by VPLP to provide evenly matched high speed racing, will
set off on July 7th for the MOD 70 KRYS Ocean Race's across the North
Atlantic to a finish in Brest, France.

The five teams will initially be based in Newport, Rhode Island at the
Newport Shipyard between June 28-July 2. Ahead of this 2950 nm race, a 120
nm prologue from Newport to New York starts on July 2 to a finish line off
New York's iconic Statue of Liberty on July 3rd. The fleet will then dock
at Manhattan's tranquil North Cove Marina. On July 5th, a speed match will
be held on the Hudson River at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

The MOD 70 KRYS Ocean Race will begin on July 7 at 1100hrs (EDT). Compete
will be:
Race for Water - Steve Ravussin
Foncia - Michel Desjoyeaux
Edmond de Rothschild Group - Sebastien Josse
Spindrift Racing - Yann Guichard
Oman Sail - Sidney Gavignet

Full details:

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everything from dinghy to maxi boat sails. Complete sail care and repair
services are offered along with new sails, coaching and teaching. Sam's
been sailing since age 16, when he started cruising with his family. As a
racer, Sam sails primarily larger keelboats, participating in dozens of
Mexico races, Transpacs, Coastal Cups, Big Boat Series, SoCal Series, and
more. The loft is located at 1620 W. Cowles Street in Long Beach. Contact
Sam at 562-624-4325 or

It only took General Sam Houston a total of 18 minutes to win the Battle of
San Jacinto and secure the freedom of Texas from the sleeping army of Santa
Anna. For the 45 boat fleet sailing at Houston Yacht Club for the 2012 A
Class US Nationals, an 18 minute battle may have felt like a good sailing
opportunity given the weather delays Santa Anna conjured up from his grave
to revenge the defeat he suffered all those years ago.

To add insult to injury, the weather had been postcard perfect the full
week before the event with a number of boats arriving early to practice and
enjoy classic SE Galveston Bay sea breeze and warm early spring
temperatures. Regatta chair Bob Webbon did his best to invoke the favor of
the Aztec wind god Ehecatl by sacrificing a side of beef for the kick off
cocktail party on Thursday evening at his humble abode not far from the
club. As a result of that party, and the rumors of late night raucous
behavior by visiting sailors, there were few complaints about the scheduled
start time for first race on Friday of 1300 hours.

Unfortunately, Mr. Webbon must have sacrificed one of Ehecatl's favorite
sides of beef. The God expressed his wrath by sending in a storm front that
sucked all the wind from the area for the entire day, until the front
itself came through with the bang of thunder and some horizontal rain.
Fortunately, all the sailors had taken proper precautions of lowering their
mast and tying down their boats to prevent any unintended sacrifices of
carbon fiber. -- Read on:

Hyeres, France (April 27, 2012) - The final day at Semaine Olympique
Française (4th event on ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit) saw blistering
winds above 20 knots wreak havoc on the scoreboard. The Laser medals were
decided by a broken mast, and the Women's Match Race never raced their
finals. If strong winds prove the theme in Weymouth for the 2012 Olympics,
the athletes will all remember Hyeres for the training it provided.

Canadian Star sailors Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn fell off the podium
into fourth when the winds got the best of them. "Early in the run just as
we were getting settled and thinking about the pole we went down a massive
wave with no exit and buried the bow, we call this 'going down the mine'
and it usually ends badly," explained Clarke. "Luckily we maintained
control of the boat, kept the rig pointing skyward but completely filled
the boat with water. I mean completely filled to the brim as there was
maybe 4" cockpit left before she overfilled."

With the strong winds keeping the Paralympic classes ashore, Jennifer
French and JP Creignou (USA) held onto the Bronze medal. Americans Amanda
Clark and Sarah Lihan have been a force as the winds increase, and their
deuce in the Medal Race propelled them to earn the Silver medal. But the
strongest showing was in the Women's Match Race where American skippers
Anna Tunnicliffe and Sally Barkow finished 1-2. "We are very excited that
we came out on top at this event, our last event leading into our Olympic
Trials which start on May 4th," said Tunnicliffe.

Event website:

(April 29, 2012; Day 8) - So much for being in control. It was on Friday
when PUMA was in the lead, covering the fleet, on layline to the tip of
Brazil, and prepping for a left turn over the weekend toward Miami. They
would be the first to hop on the 'Trade Wind Express' through the
Caribbean. They were ready to be gone.

But as Volvo meteorologist Gonzalo Infante had predicted, the trade winds
eased, and the fleet compressed near the point. PUMA bled miles all weekend
as CAMPER and Telefonica converged with more pressure.

The good news for PUMA was the advantageous current and wind along the
northern shore of Brazil had kept the group together, and their inside
position increased their lead by 8nm in the latest sked. Whew, breathing
room again!

PUMA navigator Tom Addis said the top three boats had been sailing in
pleasant down wind conditions, and believed the first boat into the trades
would get a jump on the fleet but said he believed that the fleet's fourth
Equator crossing could still be fraught with risk for the leg leaders.

"We would always prefer to be leading into those situations, but it is a
fairly fragile one this time I think," Addis said. "The Doldrums aren't
looking too bad for us and I think the first one into the trades should be
able to extend, but it doesn't look like we get all the way to the finish
in that mode. It looks like we are going to go soft again after the
Caribbean, so that will mean another compression from behind

That leaves hope for Groupama, which got caught in a cloud shuffle before
the tip of Brazil, and has been left behind in lesser wind conditions.
Latest predictions suggest the leading boats should arrive in Miami on or
around May 9. - Scuttlebutt, Event media

Leg 6 - Itajai, Brazil to Miami, USA (4,800 nm)
Standings as of Sunday, 29 April 2012, 22:02:48 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2891.0 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 10.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 10.8 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 49.8 nm DTL
5. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 118.5 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Did not start

Video reports:

BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early
July 2012, six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles
around the world via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape
Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. Teams accumulate points through
nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. -

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* Hamilton Bermuda (April 27, 2012) - Six-time IOD World Champion Penny
Simmons won the last two races in Bacardi's Bermuda International Race
Week, but it wasn't quite enough to pop him into the lead in either the IOD
'B' series or the overall 13-race test for the IOD Vrengen Gold Cup. Giles
Peckham of Cowes UK scored an 8-2 today and won the six race 'B' series
while Simmons came second. The Vrengen Gold Cup for first overall in the
series finally went to the John Burham-Peter Rugg co-skippered Fishers
Island NY team. -- Read on:

* St. Petersburg, FL (April 28, 2012) - Nine races were completed for the
44 competitors at the Contender Worlds on Florida's West Coast. Italy's
Antonio Lambertini won, with countryman Giovanni Bonzio trailing by four
points. Denmark's Soren Dulong Andreasen enjoyed the windier races to pull
up to third,with Open Regatta winner Joachim Harpprecht of Germany placing
fourth. Fifth was Florida's Ethan Bixby, who won both of the lighter air
races. Also represented were Canada, Great Britain, Australia and The
Netherlands. -- Event reports:

* Falmouth Harbour, Antigua (April 28, 2012) - There was drama right from
the start of the 2012 Yachting World Round Antigua Race: Squally conditions
intensified the trade winds to churn up the swell into a foaming powerful
sea state with waves reaching over three metres. The feisty conditions
caused at least two retirements due to gear failure. Allyn Salomon's
Beneteau Oceanis 473, Hermosita suffered a damaged rudder and South African
Jan Rupert entry, Tripp 75 Blackbird was another casualty. The Mini Maxi
suffered a ripped mainsail as the mighty yacht pounded through the surf. --
Read on:

* West Palm Beach, FL (April 29, 2012) - Two more crazy races were
conducted in Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday leaving Ryan DeVos on Volpe with
winning America's Cup helmsman Ed Baird as tactician and crew of Scott
Nixon, Sam Rogers, Mike Hill, Drew Weirda and Scott Martins as 2012 Melges
32 East Coast Champions. In second overall, Jason Carroll on Argo finished
with equal points, but lost the tiebreaker to DeVos on the last race of the
day. Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica remained in the hunt throughout to
finish third overall. -- Full report:

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Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250
words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should
save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.


* From Dave Rosekrans:
Last week in Scuttlebutt (3578, 3579), Nick Hayes and Alistair Murray may
be right that the America's Cup has not brought significant participation
into sailing; however, we respect the current organizer's efforts to make
the America's Cup spectator friendly. The spectator's needs are driving the
format of the races on an unprecedented scale. For example, for the first
time in the Cup's history, the races are designed to be witnessed from
shore. Among many other changes, the race course itself is structured to be
easily viewed on TV and exciting for the spectator. We hope this America's
Cup will be successful in creating awareness of sailing that translates
into participation.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Rosekrans, Past President of US Sailing, submitted the
above on behalf of himself and Steve Tsuchiya, Selection Committee Member
of the America's Cup Hall of Fame.

* From Dave Wilhite:
What the Coast Guard imposed is a good idea (in Scuttlebutt 3579), even if
it upsets people but this is also not a time for tough talk from either

Safety Stand-Downs work in the military environment because they serve to
refocus personal and reestablish moral but I'm not sure how the mechanism
will work in the civilian world because it's not as though there's a set
manual on how to facilitate safety meetings and it's not as though there is
a true commanding officer within the Corinthian ranks of ocean racing.
There are a bunch of ideas on how to safely run a boat and there seem to be
a bunch of ideas floating about on what constitutes good seamanship.
There's nothing wrong with SI's or current equipment lists or even the
occasioned non–mandatory briefings held before races but put simply, we
seem to have lost a way to positively take care of ourselves.

Despite the fact that documents are probably available for those that take
the time to seek out minutes of meetings, much of the conversation that
goes on between organizers and the USCG, for all intents and purposes, are
behind closed doors. Most sailors and apparently the OYRA simply have
little idea of who is talking to whom and none of the meetings being held
have minutes publicly posted for sailors to read. Needless to say there is
a lot of distrust among rank and file sailors here. -- Read on:

* From Richard M. Johnson:
Yes, the race around the Farallon Islands was a tragedy, and we lost five
ocean racing sailors from our local sailing community. However, many of us
have participated in ocean yacht racing events for several years without a
loss of life or equipment. They do not shut down any other sport or
activity because of an accident. Did anyone ever think about shutting down
water skiing, snowboarding, and snow skiing or sky diving or swimming when
there was a fatality? Why is ocean yacht racing the only activity being
shut down?

Consider the City of Oakland, California; where from 1999 to 2010 there
were 1191 murders in that city, an average of 99 murders per year, and
doing a graph on these numbers, there seems to be a steady incline to this
data. They have not shut down that city, they still allow people to drive
through and walk around that city. Where is the logic?

I would rather go around the Farallon Islands in my sailboat than take a
walk down International Blvd. in Oakland, and I'll bet I could get a crew
to do the Farallon Island event easier than get a group to stroll up and
down International Boulevard in Oakland. Will this also include the
"Transpac," either Single Handed or Crewed races? How about an America's
Cup event going out the Gate? How about other races origination in other
Coastal Communities? Is someone over reacting?

COMMENT: It is not uncommon for the US Coast Guard to require permits for
organized sailing events. Since it is the USCG assets that are needed
during emergencies, they are clearly leveraging the permit process
(offshore events only) to insure that race organizers are running safe
events. Additionally, this does not appear to be a reaction by the USCG as
a result of a single event, but the Farallon's incident clearly moved them
into action. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

The State of Florida is bigger than England.

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